30 December, 2014
In this small claims matter, the Claimant alleged that the Defendant visited a property owned and let by the Claimant and tampered with the boiler causing it to fail. The Claimant therefore claimed for the cost of a replacement boiler.
The Claimant's case was unprepared and disorganised. The disclosure was selective and the Claimant had failed to provide a witness statement in support of his case.
It was accepted by the Court that a representative from the Defendant attended the property on 12 November 2013. It was the Claimant's own evidence that the boiler was working on 12 November 2013 as evidenced by an email on 13 November 2013. The Claimant was unable to undermine the Defendant's position regarding what she might or might not have done to the boiler.
The Judge found that the Claimant had wholly failed to prove that the local authority had in any way done anything to cause damage to the boiler. The claim was therefore dismissed.
This case highlights the importance of a well prepared small claims claim. When dealing with a litigant in person, it is vital that the defence is pro-active. In particular, it is crucial to prepare detailed and succinct witness statements. In this instance, due to the detail included in the witness statement, cross examination of the defendants' witness was not deemed necessary. This served to speed up the hearing and resulted in a positive outcome for the client. For further advice on small claims matters contact Forbes Solicitors.
For further information please contact Katherine Milnes by email or on 01254 222408